Weekend Leadership Reading: 9/14/18

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Weekends are time when things slow down a little. Your weekend shouldn’t be two more regular work days. That’s a sure road to burnout. Take time to refresh yourself. Take time for something different. Take time for some of that reading you can’t find time for during the week.

Here are choice articles on hot leadership topics culled from the business schools, the business press and major consulting firms. This week there are articles about decision making, the lean startup, an uprising at Google (or not), the future of Silicon Valley, and the potential popping tech bubble.

From Shane Parrish: The Law of Unintended Consequences: Shakespeare, Cobra Breeding, and a Tower in Pisa

“We all know that our actions and decisions can have surprising reverberations that have no relation to our initial intentions. This is why second-order thinking is so crucial. Sometimes we can open a Pandora’s box or kick a hornet’s nest without realizing it. In a dynamic world, you can never do merely one thing.”

From Greg Satell: It’s Time To Be Skeptical About The Lean Startup. Here’s Why

“Yet go to an innovation conference these days and chances are that most people will be talking about ‘the Lean Startup.’ That’s a sure sign that a good idea is about to go bad. When any process or practice descends into mindless conformity, especially an innovation practice, we should begin to be skeptical.”

From David Meyer: Google Employees Outraged Over Its Chinese Search Engine Are Just Doing As They’re Told

“Are Google’s employees (well, some of them) right to push back in this way? Opinions are divided on that front, but here’s what’s clear: nobody should be surprised to see this sort of internal activism gaining pace, particularly at a company like Google.”

From the Economist: Why startups are leaving Silicon Valley

“Its combination of engineering expertise, thriving business networks, deep pools of capital, strong universities and a risk-taking culture have made the Valley impossible to clone, despite many attempts to do so. There is no credible rival for its position as the world’s pre-eminent innovation hub. But there are signs that the Valley’s influence is peaking (see Briefing). If that were simply a symptom of much greater innovation elsewhere, it would be cause for cheer. The truth is unhappier.”

From Nathaniel Popper: For Big Tech, a Comeuppance We’ve Seen Before: On Wall St.

“Now, just two years after getting here, and a decade after the start of the financial crisis, I have a creeping sense of déjà vu as I go about my job. Admiration of the tech world has, in the wake of a growing list of scandals, quickly soured into an intense suspicion that manages to cross partisan lines, similar to what Wall Street faced after 2008.”

After I publsihed this post, I discovered a story from the BBC that fits perfectly with what’s here. So, I’m adding this as “bonus coverage.”

From  Kim Gittleson: Lehman anniversary: The five most surprising consequences

“A decade on, there has been quite a bit of handwringing about what’s changed since the financial crisis. And I’m convinced that the biggest fallout isn’t the increased regulation, or the jailed bankers (or lack thereof), but the impact it had on those of us who were just entering the workforce in 2008.”

Book Suggestions

Mapping Innovation: A Playbook for Navigating a Disruptive Age by Greg Satell

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou

Troublemakers: Silicon Valley’s Coming of Age by Leslie Berlin

Every Monday, I do a blog post about business reading and business books. Follow this link to the most recent post.

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